The water will come in spades, hopefully, for the new Jackson Flat Reservoir water supply storage facility south of Kanab. The April 16 program featured local and state politicians, the previous land-owner family, as well as irrigation board members, Army Corps of Engineers and local citizens, as those involved in the project turned spades at the ceremonial groundbreaking to welcome the new project to the area.

Funding for the approximately $12 million project has been through the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Utah State Division of Water Resources and the Kane County Water Conservancy District.

The project involves a surface area of 232 acres, with a reservoir capacity of 4,228 acre feet. The maximum dam height will be 45 feet, with a completion date of April of 2011. The reservoir’s construction will allow area water shareholders, as well as those who can benefit by less costly, non-culinary water, to utilize allocated water rights for people in this area. The reservoir water will be pumped during periods of low flow in Kanab Creek and maintain consistent pressures throughout a system that should provide for a full water supply of allocated rights from a current 2,850 acre feet to 6,200 feet.

Kane County Water Conservancy District Director Mike Noel welcomed several hundred people to the gathering. He honored previous landowners, the Elmer and Leah Jackson family, and introduced the speakers.

Norris Brown, President of the Kanab Irrigation Company, said on behalf of the KIC, “we really appreciate the KCWCD, as well as U.S. Senator Bob Bennett. It’s hard to believe we’re finally to this point.” He also expressed gratitude to Legacy Construction for its bid.

Jackson family representative retired Judge Norm Jackson spoke briefly of his father and mother’s many contributions to the area. He indicated the new project was a fitting tribute to his parents, who were always concerned about community betterment.

Noel praised U.S. Senator Bob Bennett, who was in attendance, for his help in securing funding (over $5 million for the project). Noel also noted the archeology site mitigation that was needed was very extensive and time consuming. “It was a large archeology site in Kane County,” said Noel.

“I needed to be the senator for more than just the Wasatch front,” said Bennett of his affiliation with the project. In talking about water in the west, Bennett said he learned early it was better to be at the head of the ditch, than the head of the church.

Governor Herbert praised Noel as a good leader in the Utah State Legislature. Concerning the Jackson Flat Reservoir, he provided two main points in his speech. Utah is unique, due to it being an arid state. “Conserve what we have and develop what we need.” Governor Herbert then praised collaborative efforts that enabled the Jackson Flat Reservoir to come to fruition. “Water benefits everybody,” said Gov. Herbert.